It will be an eventual problem, but it won't happen overnight. But I think nature will find a way to cleanse herself if there are too many people. (via mass deadly disease.) Just as a over grown forest must burn. Sad to think about, but not unheard of.
Theres never really going to be a over populated Earth, war, disease, death all make it not possible :/ but if there ever was I'm sure by that time we would have the technology to handle that kind of situation.
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Personally, I don't believe in the whole overpopulation myth. I rank it up their with the overwhelming AIDS crisis that has never happened.
Since the early 80's I've been taught that were all going to be devistated by the AIDS crisis and millions upon millions of American's are going to die by it. It would be this huge epidemic and the world would be forever changed by it. It never happened. There has been no huge AIDS epidemic that has threated to wipe out the world.
I don't believe the overpopulation crowed for the same reason. I've been told all my life that we're crowding the planet and we don't have the resources to continue. All the resources were still using today were supposed to be used up by now. And yet, they are still there and the world still goes on and on.
Instead of having less resources, we have more. Instead of a worse environment, we have a better one. Despite what all the Greens want to tell you, we have improved our environment and planted more trees then we have destroyed. In the end, we've increased the carrying capacity of the earth and I fail to see how were going to change that in the future.
We have no where near tapped out the resources of the earth and were not expected too. Even if we do come to a point where oil is at critical levels (naturally, not because a bunch of greens refuse to let us safely drill for oil here while we can import it from others who are not doing it safely) we will simply switch to a new energy source and carry on our way.
It's already been pointed out that we could fit the world population in North America. That still leaves a lot of land out there that would be unused. The only reason were having 'overpopulation' issues is because some governments are using it as a control agent against their populations...not because they couldn't support them.
^ well, no one actually really know how much resources we have left ( if we are talking about oil, coal and natural gas).
Talk to some people and they say 5 years others say 50...
It's hard doing any research on the matter. So I just wait and see, and hope by the time it does come we have better accepted renewable technologies.
But what about water? I don't know where everyone else is, but some places in Aust are having massive water problems - some towns are to the point where they are not letting anyone else in ( unless they can of course pull water out of some where).
I agree with zerogravity, that over consumption is the problem, not nessarily over population. I guess what people are worried about is an over populated town or city over consuming - look at what happened at easter Island
I feel it's more restrictions then over consumption....
Water is a problem because of the environmentalists again...there is no reason we can't put desalification plants out on the coast of California to purify sea water for drinking and agricultural purposes. But we can't because the environmentalists won't let us. If California could free up their water consumption from the general supply using sea water, that water could then be directed to other places for use. We could also start piping water to needed places, just like we do with oil. The technology is there (Saudi Arabia is solving their water problems like this) but were not allowed to use it.
I'm not saying we should just use with reckless abandon. But I simply don't believe every person that comes along and says were out of resources. They've been predicting the end of our resources for decades and we have a greater supply then ever. I just don't understand how these people are still 'credible' in their fields. Every prediction they've made fro the last 50 years has not happened.
Grumble Grumble Grumble
The primary reason you don't see desalinization plants is because of Market pressures. Boiling and condensing sea water is energy intensive process. And with the price of natural gas still climbing, it's unlikely that it will ever become a viable solution in California. The reason why Saudi Arabia is adopting the technology is because natural gas is normally a waste product that they flare off in their oil field production, so energy costs are relatively low (at least compared to the alternatives)
California also transports large quantities of water, and has been since the California Aqueduct was built in the 1960s. But the amount of water shipped to Los Angles and the Central Valley is maxed out, with signs that fish populations in the San Fransisco Delta are starting to collapse. The Colorado river is also maxed out for California, as it's been decades since river water actually flowed into Baja California...
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I really, really, doubt an overpopulation would happen world wide. However, I do think that it defiantly happens per area, like China for example. I think there's a lot of room in the world for a long time.